Snowflake: database software in the cloud

The cloud can store almost infinite data. But businesses seeking an intermediary have limited options. Pioneer Amazon Web Services dominates the market. Corporate resistance to the supremacy of the e-commerce giant has allowed cloud data warehouse start-up Snowflake to find a niche. Snowflake provides the same sorts of services as database software companies such as Oracle, but they are designed to operate in the cloud. The standout feature is the fact that its services are available on Amazon’s cloud platform as well as those of rivals Microsoft and Google, allowing customers to work with multiple vendors… So far the California-based start-up has raised $1.4 billion. On Monday it announced a new partnership with Salesforce and $479 million in funding, giving the company a post-money valuation of $12.4 billion. It is now one of the 20 most valuable private companies in the US and has its eye on an initial public offering… The problem for Snowflake is that Amazon, Microsoft and Google are both competitors and business partners. They may be tempted to hamper its expansion. But until they too offer cross-cloud services — which is a tougher pill for them to swallow — Snowflake will keep on growing.